advice on decorative/nonfunctional hardware?

fourambluesAugust 3, 2012

I think my fake cabinet doors (aka decorative end panels) look strange without hardware:

I think I should add the hardware just for looks, but DH thinks it's stupid and will look stupid to have pulls on nonfunctioning doors.

What do your eyes tell you?

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I agree with you. I'd put the hardware on to model the rest of your lovely space.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:31AM
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I agree that hardware would look better. And I LOVE the trim piece you used across the top! That's an idea I'll definitely add to my list. Just the right pop of color.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:33AM
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It needs hardware. It looks unbalanced otherwise.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:37AM
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OK, thanks for the sanity check, everyone! I'm usually function over form, so totally get where DH is coming from on this. But I just can't get over the look of naked cabs!

numbersjunkie, that's painter's tape, LOL! But now that you point it out I do like the pop of color! (Aside: are you a mathematician? I am. Just wondering about your screen name.)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:30AM
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another vote for hardware it will balance out the stove.

The only people who might mistakenly try to open that non-functioning cabinet is visitors- and how often do your friends go into your cabinets??

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 1:58PM
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On the uppers? Sure. On the lower cab? Not so sure....

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:17PM
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I agree with Angie. Definitely 'pull' the uppers as they do look like they could be an actual cab. The lower doesn't necessarily look like it could be an actual cab as the open shelves make it very apparent that the panel is a panel and not a door. Unless you're just missing doors there? If so, them I would 'pull' that panel also. Looking great!!

FWIW, I'm not a fan of hardware on sink cab panels.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Definitely put hardware on there. it is distracting and could draw the eye to your cabinet that looks empty rather than letting peoples eye be drawn to the real focal points

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:40PM
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While you're at it, put matching handles on the hinge sides of all the doors too. I mean, why are those pairs of handles clustered at the center while the edges have none? And then repeat them at the tops of all the doors, too, because why should the handles just be at the bottom? Otherwise you are doing a disservice to the god of symmetry.
Did I go far enough to ridicule the idea of non-functional handles?
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" Wm. Morris

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Well, if fake non-functional doors are OK I don't see anything ridiculous about putting fake non-functional handles on them.

They're distracting as is.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:10PM
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It's useful to me!.
Keeps me from losing my mind over the lack of symmetry.

It'll create balance. Balance is useful.
Don't all the self-help idiots gurus insist that one must find balance in one's life? That moderation is the key to successful living (as I gorge on chocolate & espresso)?

I choose balance so I don't tip over.
It could happen, you know.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Wait, why not just file it under the "believe to be beautiful" part of the rubric?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:31PM
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I have to say it doesn't look right with the 'fake' handles on. If they are on the left you don't get the symmetry you are looking for and if they're on the right it just doesn't look good.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Here they are on the right:

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:13PM
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I'm with the naysayers. Especially from the angle of your photograph, it's obvious that the cabinets aren't "empty," just have handles on the perpendicular face. There won't be "symmetry" wherever you put the nonfunctional handles, because the upper is a "singleton" on the right of the stove, whereas there are doubles to the left. Just my $0.02

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 6:51PM
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The original question wasn't about symmetry, and neither were most of the comments. I don't think every door panel always needs handles, but here the lack of hardware is too attention-getting.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Casey, I've heard that argument from DH already. ;)

The word "distracting" is exactly the one I was looking for. I obviously can't go for symmetry, but the bare cabinets are distracting. Thanks for photoshopping my options, cam! I think putting them on the left is better than nothing, and on the right it looks awkward.

The lower open shelves don't concern me so much because they're not visible from across the room. I might put a pull on for a side towel holder, but I'll let that one simmer for a while.

breezy, I'm not a fan of pulls on sink panels either, but I've got tilt-outs, so had to pull them, oh no!

Thanks for your input everyone!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:06PM
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I was advised not to add hardware to panels on lower cabinets because someone might actually try to forcibly open the "cabinet" and yank off the panel. Sounds like something that may have happened at one of our livelier pre-kid parties but not so much now. ;)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Ok--that didn't work so well. Here's the pic

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:13PM
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I must be wayyyy too tired tonight...what I meant to say was that the cabinet on the far right may look like a cabinet, but it's really a bookcase for my cookbooks.Open on the side.
I think you should put the hardware on.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Obviously, if it is really distracting to you, go for the hardware! Marcolo, I realized that majority of the comments weren't about symmetry but I'd decided the "fake nonfunctional" aspect had already been addressed sufficiently!

fouramblues - my DH objected strenuously to "fake" hardware on the sink non-tip-out panel. It didn't matter much to me.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:33PM
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If symmetry isn't a problem I do agree the handles on the left look better than no handles at all.....that being hard would it be to take a bit of space from the actual cabinet and turn that lower panel into a functional door with narrow spice storage behind?? Just saying....

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:04AM
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mom23es, I never would have thought of that. I guess you have better parties than I do!

Peony, thanks for the visual, it looks nice! My open shelves are blocked from most views by the island, so I'm not too worried about looks there, so if there's a functional reason to put a pull on I will.

drbeanie, I think I do have to go for it! cam's pics drove it home for me.

cam, I have a spice drawer nearby (which will have Jars a la Breezy when I get to it), so no need for a secret spice cupboard, though it would be fun! Besides, that cupboard is chock full of stuff already...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:50AM
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I feel like it looks fine on the uppers but I question why put it on the lower? It's obvious it's fake and there for no purpose. People do decorative panels all the time. That's what it is...there's a bookcase right there. You pull on it and what happens? Nothing. So what's the point? I just don't get it. At least with the uppers it looks like there could be a purpose unless someone is staring and notices and points it out. If your pulls were horizontal, I'd say put a towel bar there and make it functional somehow with pot holders or something. But the handle just seems out of place.

Your kitchen is lovely by the way.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:09PM
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We were advised by one carpenter not to do it. But the carpenter who actually did the work said most of his clients did it and he agreed it looked better, as did our son and a few others that we asked. So we have pulls on our fake cab doors and drawers, and yes a few people have tried to open them (including my DH and me at first). But we are glad we did it, they just didn't look right without.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:20PM
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I am watching this as I will have the same issue in the home stretch...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:43PM
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